Post and Recipe by: A Sweet Pea Chef

Quickly and (super) easily make delicious Instant Pot Barbacoa Tacos any night of the week!  This post is sponsored by La Tortilla Factory.

Instant Pot Barbacoa Tacos with Salsa Verde | The best barbacoa tacos using an Instant Pot so they're super easy and quick! | A Sweet Pea Chef

GUYS!  I finally got myself an Instant Pot!

I am so very far behind the rest of the world on this one, I know.

But I did.  And I tried it.  And I’m SO IN LOVE!

It makes things soooo much faster than a slow cooker or cooking in the oven, yet makes the same tender meat…all in less than half the time!  So awesome!

Now, I am so amped on all the possibilities — you can even make yogurt!

Overhead view of an Instant Pot filled with shredded barbacoa beef that will be used to make Instant Pot Barbacoa Tacos.

Truth be told, though, I also had another super easy thing to try at the same time to help with my first Instant Pot recipe: a packet of La Tortilla Factory’s Barbacoa Sauce Starter.

Normally, I avoid packaged sauces because they’re super high in sodium and have a ton of highly processed ingredients.  Not this sauce starter, my friends.  This is unicorn goodness.  And it’s super tasty.

And. So. Easy.

Dustin and I already LOVE La Tortilla Factory tortillas because they’re as close to homemade as you can get from the store so we were excited to try this new sauce starter.  Plus: barbacoa.  I’m in!


For a little history on barbacoa, it’s actually a way to cook meat (usually a cow or sheep head) that originated in the Caribbean and actually happens to be where the term “barbecue” comes from.  In many areas, barbacoa actually refers to the meat being slow-cooked over an open fire, or more traditionally, in a hole dug in the ground covered with leaves. Barbacoa meat is known for its strong flavor, including chipotle, cumin, oregano, cloves, and lime, and is usually served with onions and cilantro.

No, I didn’t go dig a hole in my backyard.  I used my Instant Pot.

And it was glorious.

Three bags of La Tortilla Factory Non-GMO Hand Made Style tortillas.
Shredded barbacoa beef that has been cooked until tender in the Instant Pot and is ready to be made into barbacoa tacos.


While you could make barbacoa more traditionally, it is super easy to make Instant Pot Barbacoa.  If you don’t have a handy La Tortilla Factory sauce starter, you can use the following ingredients and flavors:

  • chipotle in adobo sauce
  • cumin
  • oregano
  • apple cider vinegar
  • cloves
  • lime
  • sea salt
  • onion
  • chile pepper

Instead of using cheek or whole head, I used chuck roast and it was perfect. The higher fat content of the chuck roast worked perfectly and the meat was tender and very flavorful.  In the Instant Pot, all you have to do is sear the season the meat on Saute mode, sear it, add some onion and garlic, and seal it close.  The entire process takes less than an hour and you wind up with tender, flavorful Instant Pot barbacoa meat.

Side view of a plate topped with two Instant Pot Barbacoa Tacos with salsa verde.
Close up of a two Instant Pot Barbacoa Tacos, filled with barbacoa shredded beef, diced avocado, diced red onion, cotija cheese, and salsa verde.

I shredded the barbacoa beef and added it to tacos.  Yes, it was as amazing as it sounds.

I used La Tortilla Factory Non-GMO Hand Made Style tortillas obvi since they’re soft, pliable, flavorful, and the perfect holder for the Instant Pot barbacoa beef.  Plus they’ve refreshed the line so that it’s now non-GMO.

In other words, follow the steps below for blissful barbacoa dinner happiness:

  1. Get yourself an Instant Pot (Don’t have one?  Keep reading!).
  2. Add your La Tortilla Factory Barbacoa Sauce Starter and sear the beef.
  3. Add everything else to the Instant Pot.
  4. Shred the Instant Pot barbacoa beef.
  5. Wrap it all up in a La Tortilla Factory Non-GMO Hand Made Style tortilla.
  6. Top with cilantro, red onion, salsa verde, cotija cheese, and a lime.

This is all you need.  Ever.  And it’s easy.  Prepare yourself.

Instant Pot Barbacoa Tacos, topped with shredded barbacoa beef, red onion, salsa verde, cotija cheese, and lime juice, ready to eat.


Prep Time 5 mins | Cook Time 50 mins | Total Time 55 mins


For The Instant Pot Barbacoa Beef:
For the Toppings:


  1. Push the “Sauté “button on the Instant Pot and set to high. Add the olive oil and allow to get hot.
  2. Add the beef to the Instant Pot and sear the meat on all sides until well-browned, about 3 minutes each side.
  3. Take out the meat out of the Instant Pot, and add the onions and garlic. Cook for 2 minutes, until the garlic is fragrant and the onions are beginning to sweat.
  4. Add the beef broth and stir to combine, scraping any bits off the bottom of the pot.
  5. Return the meat to the pot.
  6. Place the lid on the Instant Pot, and seal closed. Push the vent knob to the back.
  7. Cancel the “Sauté” mode and then push the “Manual” button, and set to 50 minutes.
  8. When the timer goes off, quick release the vent or let it come down from pressure naturally.
  9. Shred the beef into bite size pieces.
  10. Top the La Tortilla Factory Hand Made Style tortillas with the barbacoa beef, avocado, red onion, cottage cheese (AKA queso fresco), fresh cilantro and the salsa verde.

This post contains affiliate links for products I use regularly and highly recommend.  This post is sponsored by La Tortilla Factory.